Craggy cliffs and wide riparian zones, rough waters and quietly meandering rivers, iris, pond-lilies and kingfishers – touring on water in the Geopark Porphyry Land is an exciting nature experience. The valleys of the Mulde rivers are Bird Protection Zones, the banks are also a breeding area for threatened bird species. Touring the Mulde requires strength: canoes, kayaks or rubber dinghies are the right choice wherever the water is not rough. However, navigating the wild Zschopaufluss requires at least a robust canoe or even better a white-water kayak.
Everyman and school regatta on the Mulde
Every year in June, the water sports association “Albin Köbis“ in Grimma hosts a school regatta for cutters at the suspension bridge. The association also organises a parallel event, the Everyman Regatta. Teams comprising eight rowers and one cox must complete two laps of the 600 meter long regatta course between suspension bridge and Rabenstein.
Kayaking in the Geopark; Foto: Archive Geopark Porphyry Land
Cycling in the Geopark
Two cycle routes connect the Geopark Porphyry Land with the city of Leipzig: The Parthe-Mulde Cycle Route winds its way through the lovely Parthe riparian zone via Borsdorf and Naunhof to Grimma. The Leipzig-Elbe-Cycle Route heads to Wurzen via Brandis. Both routes meet the Mulde Cycle Route. The excellent Muldentalbahn Cycle Route connects the towns Wurzen and Grimma on the embankment of the old Mulde Valley Railway Line.
Travelling on the Mulde Cycle Route
Cyclists following the Mulde Cycle Route from Zwickau, can look forward to 158 kilometres along the rivers Zwickauer and Vereinigten Mulde. Those starting in Nossen follow the Freiberger Mulde for 140 kilometres. Both sections pass the most attractive places in the Geopark Porphyry Land and reveal the beauty of the landscape. The Mulde Cycle Route connects to several other long-distance cycle routes.
Fahrradtour an der Mulde, Foto: LTM, Kati Lange
On foot through the Porphyry Land
The Geopark Porphyry Land offers plenty of routes for day or long-distance hikes. The area can be traversed on foot from the Gänze von Rochlitz to Thallwitz on the Mulde Valley Hiking Trail.
You do not have to travel to Spain to go on a pilgrimage. The Via Porphyria is a 200 kilometre-long circular route through the landscape of the Mulde and Chemnitz Valleys, the Kohrener Land and the area south of Leipzig. This is a great way to get to know the history of the region, its unique culture, spiritual roots and traditions. The pilgrim’s path was created by the association “Kirche im Land des Roten Porphyr e.V.“. The route connects sacral buildings, places of worship and stillness as well as historical, technological and tourist attractions in the region.
Monastary Wechselburg along the Via Porphyria,
Photo: Gotthardt Ladegast
Castle Rochlitz, Photo: Martin Rust
Saxon Luther Walk
A section of the Saxon Luther Walk also passes through the Geopark Porphyry Land. This spiritual circular route connects towns and sites associated with Martin Luther and his companions. Katharina von Bora, who became his wife, lived in Nimbschen Monastery for twelve years until she escaped in 1523. The St. Marienthron Monastery was founded 1241 in Sornzig by Cistercian nuns and dissolved during the Reformation. In Rochlitz, the Luther Walk commemorates Elisabeth von Rochlitz, who introduced the Reformation in the towns Rochlitz, Mittweida and Kriebstein.
Stone production in the Geopark Porphyry has created unique climbing opportunities. The Environmental Offices and Mountain Sport Associations have joined forces to establish climbing routes for children, beginners and professionals. Some of these, for example in the former quarries Holzberg and Gaudlitzberg in the Hohburg Hills, achieve the highest possible rating in Saxony. These climbs are excellent for training for alpine challenges.
In September 2018, the Saxon Mountain Climbing Association (Sächsische Bergsteigerbund) opened a Climbing Garden with around 75 routes in the porphyry quarries Seidelbruch and Gleisbergbruch on Rochlitz Hill. The levels of difficulty range from beginner to advanced. Popular destinations for climbers in the geopark are Brandis, Grimma, the Quarry Golzernmühle and the Rabenstein.
The designated climbing areas in the Geopark Porphyry Land are operated by the associations:
- Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) – Sektion Leipzig,
- IG Klettern Halle/Löbejün e.V. and
- IG Klettern Mittelsachsen
They are responsible for safety and cleanliness and provide maps of the climbing areas as well as climbing guides with ratings and topos of individual routes.
Leipzig Climbing School
In 1919, the mountaineer Felix Simon from Leipzig became fascinated with the Ostbruch (East Quarry) at the Kohlenberg near Brandis. Here he discovered natural training opportunities for his climbing routes in the Alps, which were subsequently used by the alpine climbing school in Leipzig. By 1934, 19 climbing routes were created here with various levels of difficulty. Today, the Deutsche Alpenverein (German Alpine Association), Section Leipzig, operates this ideal climbing school for different skill levels.
The oldest German Mountain Film Festival takes place every year on three days at the end of August in the quarry at the Gaudlitzberg in Thallwitz. This Mountain Film Festival uniquely combines film screenings with active mountain climbing.
During the day you can climb the wall, participate in competitions such as the Gaudlitzberg Bouldercup or speed down the steep wall to the ground on the 220 metre long alpine cableway. In the evening you can then join others to watch films. On show are current documentaries that have entered a competition. The audience decides which film will win the trophy.